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present perfect

English grammar questions, answered by Alan

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Hela
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present perfect

Post by Hela » Sat Sep 25, 2004 8:30 pm

Dear teachers,

Is the following stce referring to a present action taking place at the moment of speaking or is it referring to a past event?

“How long have they waited for the doctor ?”
“They’ve waited for him for two hours."

i.e. Are they still waiting or have they got back home?

Many thanks,
Hela

Hela
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Post by Hela » Sun Sep 26, 2004 7:39 am

Dear teachers,

The difference between:

"They have waited for the doctor for 2 hours." and
"They have been waiting for the doctor for 2 hours."

is it that the first question is asking, in all their visits to the doctor (with future visits assumed), what is the most time they have ever spent waiting?

Many thanks,
Héla

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Alan
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Re: present perfect

Post by Alan » Sun Sep 26, 2004 9:25 am

Hela wrote:Dear teachers,

Is the following stce referring to a present action taking place at the moment of speaking or is it referring to a past event?

“How long have they waited for the doctor ?”
“They’ve waited for him for two hours."

i.e. Are they still waiting or have they got back home?

Many thanks,
Hela
Depending on context , it could take either meaning, unlike 'They have been waiting...' which refers exclusively to a still ongoing situation.

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